Quark updates content automation solution

Quark has added further updates to its Content Automation platform, including enhancements to content management and web-based content review with the ability to assemble and manage PowerPoint slides at a component level.

Ray Schiavone, Quark’s CEO

The Quark Content Automation Platform is a collection of Quark’s tools, such as QuarkXPress Server and Quark XML Author that together enable the creation, management, publishing and delivery of multi-channel content. Essentially, it breaks content down into components that can easily be reused by different users, helping to cut down on publishing costs.

So Quark is really announcing updates to several of its existing programs that together feed into the Content Automation Platform. The system is centred around the Quark Publishing Platform, which now gains the ability to manage and reuse PowerPoint slides and dynamically update components within slides such as Excel tables and charts, images and video; these updates will automatically apply to any PowerPoint file that references those components. There’s also a new web service that allows any user to securely copy and paste data across multiple devices or machines.

QuarkXPress Server is now compatible with the latest QuarkXPress 2017 with features such as responsive HTML5 output and native image manipulation. It can capture real-time publishing metrics and server use via API or log files, which can be integrated with third party monitoring applications.

Quark’s XML Author, which is a plug-in to Microsoft Word, gains an enhanced navigation pane for DITA maps and a new referencing infrastructure to reuse structure and content with configurable and controlled keydef/keyref support. The 64-bit version will now work with Word 2016.

Equally, the web-based content creation tool Quark Author has picked up support for inline styling along with multi-paragraph comments and replies. Users can also manage region and table content as components and add metadata.

The system as a whole is used by companies such as IHS Markit, which produces reports for various industries from aerospace to supply chain management, and has some 8800 staff in offices spread over 32 countries. The company has grown through acquisition but this has left it having to cope with multiple solutions for content creation and management, which have now all been replaced with the Quark Content Automation Platform. This provides structured authoring and can handle tables and charts and support digital asset management. Charles Grint, Director of Business Analysis for IHS Markit, says that the company looked at several options, adding: “There was consensus among the team that Quark’s content automation platform satisfied both our business and technical requirements.”

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